Local runners off to provincials

Katie Brickman
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District cross-country runners battle colder temperatures

The junior boys set their pace in the first lap of the five-kilometer race at the South Central District Cross Country meet on Wednesday in Wakamow Valley. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

Just seven days ago, over 200 runners competed in 23-degree weather at the Moose Jaw Invitational Cross Country meet. On Wednesday afternoon, runners were battling each other and single digit temperatures. 

Over 100 runners from Grades 7 to 12 from the surrounding areas competed in the South Central Cross Country District meet in Wakamow Valley. With that many runners, Moose Jaw set another record for athletes competing in a cross-country event.

“That’s the highest number we’ve ever had,” said organizer, Renee Verge. “Having that many runners is a very positive thing for us. I am very pleased with the numbers, especially with last week when we had a record setting meet and here we are again with record numbers.”

Despite the number of parents and teachers helping with the event wrapped in winter jackets and mitts, Verge explained that seven-degree weather was perfect conditions for the runners to compete in.

“Honestly, this is great running weather. It is beautiful cross-country temperature. The wind has died down and there is no moisture. When you are in the hills, it is very warm,” she stated. “This course is warmer than it looks today.”

Similar to last week, the senior girls division was won by Vanier’s Morgyn Olmstead and Peacock’s Daniel Ferguson won the senior boys division.

The bantam boys and girls ran two kilometers, the midget girls ran three-km and the midget boys ran four-km. The junior boys and girls ran together in a heat, but the girls ran four-km and the boys ran an extra kilometer. For the senior boys and girls it was six-km and four-km run, respectively. All top 10 finishers in each category will go to provincials in a couple weeks. 

For Olmstead, it was a much harder race on Wednesday than last week, partly to do with the temperature and design of the course.

“It was definitely harder than last week. The weather made it hard to breathe. I’m not as good uphill,” she said. “My legs got a little bit tighter because of the cold rather than when it is warm.”

Ferguson felt the same way, especially about the hilly climb the boys had to do three times.

“It was definitely tougher than last time,” he said. “The course is more physically demanding and the hills are one after each other.”

For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.

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